"What do you
think of Falun Gong?" a journalist with the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) asked two rows of "students"
at a re-education camp for female Falun Gong practitioners.
"I think it's an evil cult," "It's a cult," former
practitioners said one after another in front of microphones and
Suddenly, a woman said with a smile that "I still think it is
good." The woman in her 40s looked strong and healthy.
This is consistent: membership in a group
is usually ambiguous, and so is it for ex-members.
reporters quickly came up to ask her questions. But the women's other
fellow "students" showed no sign of being startled, because
she was the only one in this group yet to be converted back to normal
"Everyone of us was just as stubborn as she is when we first came
here," one said.
This is consistent as
well. The de-converted ex-members and authorities have time on their
side. They will continued their group pressure on the woman until she
In one office, a
policewoman was trying to persuade a Falun Gong activist to abandon
her obsession with Li Hongzhi and his heretic theories, with the help
of two former activists already transformed.
Again a sign that a
deprogramming process is used, as de-converted ex-members are typically
called in to help de-convert other members.
Gong fallacies are mere deceptions," said Li Guoqin, in her 20s.
An error from Li Hongzhi has been to try
and demonize the camp where his followers were being deprogrammed. Of
course, in his view, only through torture one would be led to
"forsake the truth", whereas it's more a matter of forcible
ever been beaten or suffered torture?" a journalist asked.
"No," she said with a firm voice, adding that
"policewomen here are very kind to me, they care for my daily
life and I am very grateful to them."
It has been
alleged by Falun Gong organizations overseas that the Masanjia
Re-education Camp, China's model camp for helping Falun Gong followers
out of the mental control of Li Hongzhi, once undressed 18 of its
inmates and tossed them into cells full of male prisoners. It was also
claimed by the same organizations that disobedient inmates in Shenyang
are beaten with electric batons, or sent to so called water cells or
solitary confinement in a dark room.
"This is sheer fabrication, it's outrageous, and it insults our
women police," Su Jing, head of the faculty, told the foreign
press group right after they arrived.
Well, abuses certainly
can happen, but it also is not the Chinese government's interest at this
early stage, as a "switching" of Falun Gong member would
vindicate the government's position more, and they know they can achieve
that without ill-treatment of the group member. Quite on the contrary,
treating them with care at the outset not only makes them look as
benevolent, but also puts to lie the demonization tales their fellow
members told them and thus makes them doubt the soundness of the group.
Since the member is under total control of authorities, however, nothing
guarantees that the "gentle" treatment would continue should
he refuse to "think normally".
At the conclusion
of the three-hour interview, Ned Colt with the NBC said that what he
saw here "appeared to indicate that the rumors are not
reality." And Chew Juai Fong with the Singapore Press Holdings
said later in his story that "Falun Gong's attacks are not
John Leicester, the AP writer who speaks better Chinese than many
Chinese do, said he has been writing Falun Gong stories for the past
two years, but he has heard too much from the Falun Gong side.
He said he is not going to say who is right or wrong, but will tell
what he saw. Such stories will be "interesting," he said.
The article of course
comes from a pro-government newspaper, but, as per above, I believe
there is some truth in the allegation that members are not ill-treated
at the outset in those camps.
Su has been
acclaimed by former Falun Gong activists for treating them as
"sisters who went astray and were victimized by the Falun Gong
cult." For the same reason, she was called "devil head"
by the Falun Gong cult. She has received threatening letters every
day. Her home phone number has been posted on the Falun Gong websites
to encourage harassment calls.
Again, this is typical.
What the paper calls "harassment" is probably the desperate
pleas from other members to "bring her back in the fold". They
cannot understand her change of allegiance in other term than through
some kind of brainwashing or torture the government made her endure and
they want to "save her", make her "be herself"
female police were lecturing on mental health, and laws on public
demonstrations and protests. There were also many inmates who were
attentively watching a video program on the origin of the universe.
According to Su
Jing, the faculty chief, Li Hongzhi propagates too many myths on the
creation of the universe as a foundation for his mental control over
practitioners. And the English-language program with Chinese captions
shown was expected to teach his followers the truth.
The Chinese government
teaches the "truth" about the origin of the universe? All
shown on video? Sure...